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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Pioneer DVR-115D

1. The drive

Pioneer's DVR-115D is a high speed DVD ReWriter supporting all DVD media types currently available. The DVR-115D is capable of burning DVD±R media at 20X, DVD±R DL media at 10X, DVD+RW at 8X and DVD-RW at 6X. However, writing of DVD-RAM discs is not supported. CD-R media can be burned at 40X and CD-RW at 32X.

Key Features

The new writers retain Pioneer's Disc-Resonance Stabiliser technology. This controls the airflow generated by disc rotation in order to minimise disc warping, which can occur when media rotates at high speed. As well as 'Buffer Under Run' protection technology for DVD and CD, writing performance is further advanced by technologies including:

A Multi-Effect Liquid Crystal Tilt Compensator operates at high speed even on Dual Layer/Double Layer media types to ensure precise writing to the disc by automatically compensating for discs that are warped or of uneven thickness.

The Ultra Dynamic Resonance Absorber reduces the instability and vibrations caused by imbalanced or damaged media, maintaining the integrity of the recording and playback performance.

Performance Adjusting Firmware: this optimises the disc's rotation speed depending on the user's application - for example, if watching a movie or listening to music, the disc velocity is reduced keeping background noise to a minimum:


Pioneer DVR-115D is also available in under the code-names DVR-A15J (Japan) and DVR-A15XL. These models retail with more "advanced" options, including Pioneer's "PureRead" and "PowerRead" functions. Unfortunately, our DVR-115D sample we have here in our labs does not support these two advanced functions, but they both deserve the mention.

PowerRead: There is a difference between how AV and PC handle discs that are difficult to read. In a standard PC environment, DVD-Video is treated as 1 type of data, therefore, if a section is deemed unreadable, playback will stop. With PowerRead, the user-experience is similar to the AV side, making it possible to play the remainder of the disc. Note that with PowerRead, unreadable contents remain unreadable. PowerRead skips to the next readable address.

The PureRead function compensates the noise introduced when a scratched or dusty audio CD is reproduced. The idea behind PureRead is to try and correct damaged sectors which are read from the Audio-CD. The feature re-reads damaged sectors to see if it can recover them (I.E. when ripping an Audio-CD). When these damaged sectors are read in a normal scenario, the sector may well be read without any serious error, but sometimes pops or crackles can be heard in the final ripped file. When a sector that is difficult to read is detected, the laser tries to re-read the damaged sector. Not just re-reading the sector, but the drive will actually adjust its read parameters (I.E. higher or lower laser power and the angle of the laser beam are adjusted) to try and get the best-possible read-back from that damaged sector. An algorithm calculates the "best" or "average" result it achieves, and that information (I.E. the best-possible result) is then used as part of the final ripped MP3 file. Re-reading of damaged sectors can be up to a maximum of 40 times.

PureRead offers are 3 reading modes (that can be set by Pioneer's "QuietDrive utility"):

  • Perfect Mode - after re-reading the damaged sector/s, if a "best-possible result" cannot be made, then the drive/software will cease. (I.E. the "perfect" rip of a track is not possible and the user should select Master mode.)
  • Master Mode - after re-reading the damaged sector/s, a "best-possible result" is then used in the final ripped MP3 file.
  • Standard Mode - the same as Pioneer's regular DVD drives. (I.E. the damaged sector will be read without any re-reading or best-possible result scenarios.)

Specifications:

Write Support
  • DVD-R Ver. 2.0 and 2.1 (for general 4.7GB)
  • DVD-R DL (Dual layer) Ver.3.0 (8.54GB)
  • DVD-RW Ver.1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 (4.7GB)
  • +R Ver 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 (4.7GB)
  • +R DL (Double Layer) Ver 1.0, 1.1 (8.54GB)
  • +RW Ver 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 (4.7GB)
  • +RW High-Speed Ver 1.0 (4.7GB)
  • Photo CD (single and multiple session)
  • Video CD
  • CD-DA
  • CD-Extra
  • CD-Text
  • CD-R (Type 74 - 650MB, Type 80 - 700MB)
  • CD-RW (Supports AM2)
  • HS CD-RW (Supports AM2)
  • US CD-RW (Supports AM2)
  • US+ CD-RW (Supports AM2)
  • Read Support
  • DVD (DVD-5; Single layer, single sided 4.7GB)
  • DVD (DVD-9; Dual layer, single sided 8.54GB)
  • DVD (DVD-10; single layer, dual sided 9.4GB)
  • DVD (DVD-18; Dual layer, dual sided 17.09GB)
  • DVD-R Ver.1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 (4.7GB)
  • DVD-R Ver. 2.0 and 2.1 (for general 4.7GB)
  • DVD-R DL (Dual layer) Ver.3.0 (8.54GB)
  • DVD-RW Ver.1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 (4.7GB)
  • +R Ver 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 (4.7GB)
  • +R DL (Double Layer) Ver 1.0, 1.1 (8.54GB)
  • +RW Ver 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 (4.7GB)
  • +RW High-Speed Ver 1.0 (4.7GB)
  • DVD-RAM Ver 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2 (Class0), (non-cartridge)
  • DVD-RAM Ver 2.2 [RAM2(Class10], (non-cartridge)
  • CD-ROM Mode 1
  • CD-ROM XA Mode 2 (form 1, form 2)
  • Photo CD (single and multiple session)
  • Video CD
  • CD-DA
  • CD-Extra
  • CD-Text
  • CD-R (Type 74 - 650MB, Type 80 - 700MB)
  • CD-RW (Supports AM2)
  • HS CD-RW (Supports AM2)
  • US CD-RW (Supports AM2)
  • US+ CD-RW (Supports AM2)
  • Write Speed DVD-R 20X CAV (27.70 Mbytes/sec)
    Write Speed DVD-R Dual Layer 10X Z-CLV (13.85 Mbytes/sec)*
    Note:
    * This specification describes the maximum speed in one zone.
    Write Speed DVD-RW 6X CAV (8.31 Mbytes/sec)
    Write Speed 8cm DVD-R/RW with Adapter 2X CAV (2.77 Mbytes/sec)
    Write Speed DVD+R 20X CAV (27.70 Mbytes/sec)
    Write Speed DVD+R Double Layer 10X Z-CLV (13.85 Mbytes/sec)*
    Note:
    * This specification describes the maximum speed in one zone.
    Write Speed DVD+RW 8X Z-CLV (11.08 Mbytes/sec)
    Write Speed CD-R 40X CAV (6.00 Mbytes/sec)
    Write Speed CD-RW
  • Normal: 4X CLV (0.60 Mbytes/sec)
  • HS: 10X CLV (1.50 Mbytes/sec)
  • US: 24X Z-CLV (3.60 Mbytes/sec)
  • US+: 32X (4.80 Mbytes/sec)
  • Write Speed 8cm CD-R/RW with Adapter 4X CLV (0.60 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed DVD-ROM (Single Layer) 16X CAV (22.16 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed DVD-ROM (Dual Layer) 12X CAV (16.62 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed DVD-R/+R 16X CAV (22.16 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed DVD-R DL / +R DL
    (Dual/Double Layer)
    12X CAV (16.62 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed DVD-RW / +RW 13X CAV (18.00 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed DVD-RAM 5X CLV (6.92 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed 8cm DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD-Video with Adapter 3.4X CAV (4.70 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed CD-ROM 40X CAV (6.00 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed CD-R 40X CAV (6.00 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed CD-RW 32X CAV (4.80 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed 8cm CD-ROM CD-R/RW CD-DA with Adapter 6.1X CAV (0.91 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed CD-DA CD-TEXT Mixed CD
    CD-Extra (Play audio)
    9.3X CAV (1.39 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed CD-DA CD-TEXT Mixed CD
    CD-Extra (Data extraction)
    40X CAV (6.00 Mbytes/sec)
    Read Speed Video-CD 9.3X CAV (1.39 Mbytes/sec)
    Access Time DVD-ROM 130 msec (Random Average)
    Access Time DVD-RAM 210 msec (Random Average)
    Access Time CD-ROM 120 msec (Random Average)
    Interface ATA/ATAPI-7, SFF-8090
    IDE Data Transfer Mode PIO Mode4, Multi Word DMA Mode2, Ultra DMA Mode2/Mode4*
    Note:
    * It is required to use a cable corresponding to U-ATA66 (80-wire conductor cable)
    Data Buffer 2MB
    Mounting Orientation Horizontal and vertical (+/- 5 Degrees)*
    Note:
    * 80mm discs cannot be used when the drive is vertically mounted. The case remains even when an adapter is used.
    Power Requirement +5V 1.80A
    +12V 1.30A (Average during 20x CAV DVD-R writing process)
    Power Consumption 24.6W (Average during 20x DVD-R CAV writing process)
    Regulatory Approval UL60950-1 First Edition, CSA C22.2 No.60950-1-03, EN60950-1:2001+A11, CB Report: IEC60950-1:2001, FIMKO, SEMKO (Optional)
    Dimensions (W x H x D) mm 148 x 180 x 42.3
    (Including height of front bezel)
    Net Weight 0.8 kg

    Our test sample was the bulk version of the drive, so we did not get the stuff that the bundle offers. The drive connects to the PC through a typical parallel ATA interface.

    This drive is built on the NEC MC-10041 Chipset.

    Click for High Resolution Image

    Installation

    The drive was connected via the typical ATA interface and was recognized as "PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-115D ".




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